Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Touhou characters, settings or any other original material created by ZUN or any other affiliates. All Touhou copyrights belong to their respective owners.
Epilogue: Maybe after your bosom has grown a bit more…
Another year. Another spring. The Hakurei Shrine stood tranquil, slender bamboo on its grounds gently swaying in accompaniment to the graceful movements of pine and willow as they greeted the breezy spring wind. Birds chirped clearly but quietly, their voices serenading the peaceful, sacred grounds of the venerable shrine that has for an eternity guarded the border between fantasy and reality, between modern and antiquity, between the without and within. The great Hakurei Shrine, a guardian of the romantic old.
On this evening, it was the barrier between peace and rowdiness.
"Repeat that again! I dare you! Repeat what you just said!" a shrill, asthmatic voice demanded. It was very rarely that anyone would be able to get the seven-day wizard to become so energetic, but-
"Oh? Okay. If you're so insistent… *smirk*…" – but for a certain seven-coloured puppeteer. Or, as she liked to call her, bitc-
"H-Hey guys, can't we just relax-ze…"
"Say it! Say it!"
"If you insist… *sneer*…"
"You girls are really stupid, you know that? Whatever… I'll just get us more tea…"
Within the creaky old Hakurei Shrine house sat a gathering of four young ladies around a Japanese-styled table, set with tea and sake. Four rowdy ladies. A purpled haired, purple clad chesty introvert. A blue-and-white robed, slightly possessive doll-maker. A bruiser of a red-and-white clothed miko and a boisterous black-and-white dressed witch.
Maybe the term "ladies" should be replaced with… I'm running out of synonyms for "oddities".
"Patchouli Knowledge and Alice Margatroid are at it again aren't they?" Hakurei Reimu, the red-white miko flatly observed the two bickering ladies as she brought in more tea. "Aren't they, Kirisame Marisa?" Reimu turned to the now slightly shamefaced black-white witch.
"Wh-Why are you looking at me?" Marisa leaned away from the table a bit, her hands raised in front of her with a confused look on her face. "You make it sound as if it's my fault." She had earlier tried to break up Patchouli and Alice's intense "civil banter", or at least how it had initially started out as, to no avail.
"Well… I wonder what is the root cause of their argument…" Reimu pursed her lips together sarcastically as she propped her chin on her arm and stared away into the distance.
"Wh-What do you mean by that!" Marisa blushed with a troubled expression.
Meanwhile, the epic heated exchange between two the seven colours and seven days continued.
"Say it! Say it Alice!"
"Okay. Patchouli's- mmph!" Alice frowned more than startled as rubbery, gel like material conjured out of thin air wrapped itself around Alice's mouth.
"You say I am about as interesting as a blob of jelly?" Patchouli raised an eyebrow, eyeing the gel wrap which Alice was furiously struggling to remove, "You know what? You're right!" Patchouli allowed herself a little tasteless humour.
"Mmm mmm mmm!" Alice fired back vehemently. Patchouli snickered at the would-be vicious insult Alice just threw at her.
"Mmm mmm mmm-" Alice, inflamed by Patchouli's response, continued to struggle in vain at the wrap as- …! As… as… um… continued to blush furiously as Marisa, kneeling by her side, gently cradled Alice's face in her hands and slowly aided in peeling off the agar slab.
"-mmm… mmm… thanks…" Alice muttered a little weekly as Marisa managed to get the gel off her mouth, than immediately shot a sly look at Patchouli, who cringed from the shot. Prank backfired.
Reimu, ever being the calm observer and critic, simply gave a disapproving snort. "What… what were we talking about again that led to this?" Reimu brought the conversation back into focus. Somewhere along the line, their civil chit-chat, although as usual a little tense thanks to a certain black-white factor, was proceeding fine until it degenerated into a heated exchange of insults about-?
"Character." Alice assisted Reimu. "Patchouli lacks character, was what I was saying," she narrowed her eyes at Patchouli. "She can hardly call herself a woman…"
"Y-You!- Look who's talking!" Patchouli fired back. "You? Who are you to tell me I don't know how to be a woman? ! Who was the one who gave you such a confidence boost? The ugly image you compare yourself to in the mirror every morning?" Patchouli sneered back, regaining some of her stride. "Oh wait… That's your reflection!"
"Hey! No such insults!" the hypocritical puppeteer fingered at Patchouli. "Besides, if you think I'm not womanly, what about the other two? They're far worse than I am!"
"Hey!" "Hey! Not cool-ze!"
"Huh… how conservative and inflexible of you…" Patchouli advanced on the attack. "Hanging on to such gender stereotypes… In this day and age no less! Getting old, you hag?"
"What? ! Patchouli!" Alice shouted.
"You know," Reimu sighed and scratched the back of her head, "The both of you are old enough to be hags-"
"What? !" "Reimu!"
"-to be hags," Reimu continued unblinkingly. Marisa was laughing her head off, to the ire of the two hags. "What I don't get is… Why are you two so worked up about who is more interesting or feminine?"
"What do you mean?" Alice and Patchouli said in unison. "Marisa's soul-mate can't be dead-beat boring, can she? Plus she has to be feminine to a certain degree," the two pointed out matter-of-factly.
…! Uh oh… I-It's finally taken that turn… again huh? Marisa pointedly pretended to be so absorbed with her cup of tea that she was unable to look up to follow the conversation, only to be greeted by her own crimson cheeks in the surface of her all-too-interesting tea.
Things have been… a little volatile lately, considering what she's done. And really, if one really wanted to finger just one person, Marisa guessed she was to blame. So far they've returned to their usual playfulness around each other. Their usual closeness, their usual interactions, their usual affection for each other… Just as they've always been, just as Marisa had always hoped would forever be… Except…
"Huh?" Reimu was still on the ball from the previous conversation. "Why must any girl involved in a relationship with Marisa take the 'girl' role?"
Alice and Patchouli gave the question just a little thought, before blushing and replying as if the answer was obvious, "Isn't it more appropriate for Marisa to take the role of the charming male lead?"
"Yip! G-Guys!"All three have become a bit too open and blasé about their feelings for her, even when she was around. Or when others were, for that matter…
"Sigh… Sorry Marisa…" Reimu turned and smiled a little concernedly at Marisa. "Even though we've all promised you to be just as always, these two oldies," Reimu jerked a thumb to the scowls of Alice and Patchouli, "Insist on always somehow sneaking in the topic of how, when you're older, they're going to find some way to get together with you, or settle down with you, or even ravish you-"
"Ravish? Hmmm…" "Ravish? Never thought of that…" "Ravish? ! Eh!" *Blush*... *Stares harder at tea*.
"Well, the way you two talk so intently about it," Reimu continued to address Alice and Patchouli, "One would think that you were ready to pounce on Marisa…"
"We were…" The two Magicians blatantly admitted. Marisa was trying to bore a hole into her tea with her eyes.
"We were. We admit it…" repeated Alice.
"… Unlike someone who's trying to pretend to be a goody-goody here," Patchouli eyeballed Reimu.
"Yah, and I'm willing to bet she's already kissed Marisa too."
"Probably stole it, you poor begger of a miko-"
"H-Hey! Cut with the insults, Patchouli! And yah, so what Alice! I've kissed her! So?"
The surface of the tea was breaking up into nervous ripples.
"Wh-What? ! You have? !"
"Ooh… Did little Patchouli here miss on something?"
"Huh! That's nothing… I've tongued-"
"GUYS!" Marisa shouted out, her eyes screwed shut in embarrassment. This conversation could no longer be ignored.
"Ack! Alice, you too? D-Damn it!"
"Did you like it, Marisa?"
Marisa might as well have just kept quiet.
"G-Guys," Marisa averted eyes with her own reflection in the tea, and took to looking at the side, cheeks redder than Reimu's dress and matching both Patchouli and Reimu's own cheeks. "I'm still here-ze…"
"I know. I'm asking your opinion on my French-kissing technique," Alice asked innocently.
Marisa could have just face-palmed were it not for the fact that her hands were still occupied with her tea. "… Since when were you so brazen?" Marisa asked incredulously.
Alice smiled, "Nah, I'm just playing with you. Oh, and to answer your previous question? I guess some of you must have rubbed off on to me," Alice giggled. "Especially on my tongue-"
"Haha… I'm just kidding…" Alice giggled harder into her hand. Even Reimu could not help but give a small smile at the way Marisa was being played. Patchouli… was still in shock.
"T'ch, you guys really enjoy teasing me, huh? Da-ze…" Marisa looked up a little hurt yet grinning.
"And why not? You owe us," Reimu said. "You rejected all of us, remember?"
"…! You're always playing that card!" Marisa pouted, feeling slightly guilty but more irked at being blackmailed constantly this way. This was one result Marisa did not like ever since last winter's incidents, and that was the constant reminder of her actions. "I've already explained myself, haven't I?" Marisa looked back at her tea. "This was the best way to maintain our relationship…" Marisa muttered more to herself than anyone.
"D-Doesn't mean we accept it…" Patchouli finally recovered. Reimu and Alice nodded their agreement, only to open their eyes once they were done to see Marisa wearing a truly sad and guilty expression.
They were right… They were after all, accommodating her selfish wishes… thought Marisa, an alarming tear coming to her eye- WARNING! WARNING!
"L-Look at what you've done, Patchouli, you insensitive girl!"
"M-Me? What about you, Alice!"
"Marisa," Reimu hurried to her side, "Sorry. We didn't mean to make it sound like you were at fault."
"Reimu…" Marisa looked up, a little more cheerful already.
"Here!" Reimu moved in to give friendly hug- HOLY! WAS THAT AN ARMED SHANGHAI FLOATING OVER MARISA'S SHOULDER? ? ! !
"R-Reimu?" Marisa looked in puzzlement at Reimu freezing mid-incipient-hug. She then glanced over to see Patchouli and Alice whispering to each other loudly, pointedly.
"Look, look, there goes that sneaky little goody-goody…"
"I knew she was trying to jump us when we were having our disagreements… Good job Alice!"
Marisa deadpanned reprovingly, earning only the shrugs of Alice and Patchouli as responses. Marisa pursed her lips in thought, then set down her tea cup and grinned at Alice and Patchouli enigmatically, confusing them. The two magicians tilted their heads in inquiry, and in response, Marisa…
"Mmm… Reimu!" dived straight into Reimu's arms.
"Wha-" a shocked Reimu stared down to see a happy Marisa nestling into her front.
"Ah… Heh…" Reimu looked up and smirked. Alice clenched her teeth and pounded her fist on the table, while Patchouli attempted to do an equivalent display of anger, but could only wheeze asthmatically. Shanghai simply let her scimitar drop to the ground in staged shock.
"Nnnn…" Marisa winked and stuck out her tongue.
"T'ch… And you keep telling us you wanted us to keep our distance…" Patchouli crossed her arms and complained.
"Since when?" Marisa sat up and frowned a bit. "I never said I wanted that." Marisa then brightened up, "I wanted the exact opposite-ze!" Marisa hugged herself to elaborate, smiling happily.
Reimu and Alice smiled back, but Patchouli had a rather heavy, contemplative face. "So let me get this straight…" Patchouli's lips tugged up, pre-empting a smirk, "You rejected all of us because you weren't satisfied with just one of us… right?" Patchouli's smirk half-formed as Marisa's smile faded a little. "You wanted all three… I see now… Heh…" Patchouli glanced to her two rivals, a telegraphic smirk now firmly on her face.
"Wh-Wha… Huh…? That's not-"
"Oh I see…" Alice picked up on Patchouli and pitched in. "Huh… how clever of you, telling us all the time that you just 'wanted us to be together' and all that nonsense…"
"I-It's not nonsense-"
"I get it now..." Reimu joined in mischieviously. "I see what you're pulling… You emotionally but methodically reject us… all that was just a ruse to keep all three of us spinning on our heads and around your finger huh?"
"Ruse?- I wasn't-"
"This is your 'Haremu Masuta-Puran' huh?" Reimu, Alice and Patchouli said simultaneously, teasingly. "Huh, Gensokyo's Pimp!"
Marisa grimaced as all three lovers grinned widely at her expression.
"Nnnggghhh… IT. IS. CERTAINLY. NOT!" Marisa sulked loudly as the other three girls cracked up in laughter. "And you!" Marisa pointed at Alice, "I don't care if your house is still not repaired! You're not coming to stay at my home tonight!"
"Ooh… Is it Patchouli's turn to enter your pleasure room tonight, hmmm?" Alice continued smoothly without losing momentum. "Guess one wouldn't want another to walk in on such an awkward moment, huh…"
"Eeeggghhh…" Marisa grimaced harder, "Gah! Alice!" Reimu and Patchouli chortled louder.
"No, seriously," Reimu placed her fingers to her lips to try to stifle her laughter. "Even if it's not one of us in the end, at the end of the day, when you finally do choose your special someone," Reimu held out her index finger in front of her face, "It's got to be only one person." Patchouli and Alice nodded in agreement.
"Well… in that case," Marisa pretended to give deep consideration. "In that case, I guess I have no choice but to make a decision. Like, now."
Instantly, Reimu, Alice and Patchouli sat up straight and gave Marisa their fullest attention. "Wh-What? Now?" the maidens asked, suddenly full of apprehension.
"Hmmm… It's not too hard…" Marisa smiled mischievously. "I know exactly what I'm looking for in a lover."
"What? What is it? !" the three maidens demanded, their hearts tugging on their fingers, causing them to grip at the fabric of their skirts. Each secretly hoped Marisa's criteria somehow described them, or if not… then… then at least they would know how to get to Marisa!
"Well…" Marisa smiled gleefully. "I really like short hair…"
"Traditional Japanese garb…"
Reimu's mouth hung ajar.
"A fondness for books…"
"And um… I guess a certain edge to their appearence?"
All three… All three knitted their eyebrows in puzzlement?
"A fudonshi to go with their attire, maybe…?"
All three girls… wait… fudonshi? ! "M-Marisa… H-Hey! What are trying to pull? !" Reimu, Alice and Patchouli stood up, bewildered. Marisa too got up, laughing.
"M-Marisa…!" And with that, the miko and two magicians attempted to pounce on the black-white witch, but Marisa rapidly got out of the way.
"Hey!" Patchouli called out.
"You!" Alice pointed at Marisa.
"Get back here!" Reimu stretched her arms downwards and shouted.
"Nnn…" Marisa winked and stuck out her tongue for a second time that day. The other three started giving chase, but Marisa hopped onto her waiting broom and flew off, leaving the three behind shouting after her in vain. As she gained altitude, Marisa looked back over her shoulder to see Reimu, Alice and Patchouli simply staring at her, their hands on their hips, shaking their heads and grinning.
Marisa looked back forward to many days of laughter and joy, wondering what dinner she should get for Alice… maybe she'll like some pastry tonight… Marisa looked up at the starry evening sky.
Heh… "Eat my love-coloured sparks da-ze!"
And uh… that's it…
Wow… finally got round to finishing my first fanfic. Yah… Um…
A very big thank you to all who read it from start to finish, as well as those who favourite it and subscribed to it! I know some of you gave up on it halfway, either because of the really long hiatus (entirely my fault) or that you don't agree with the direction (also my fault), but a huge thank you anyway! (And yes, I knew from the start the fic would take this direction… sorry… just felt more like exploring Marisa than anything else…)
So… that's it for LCS! There's still the other fic, FA, that I'm working on… it's still ongoing so maybe you could support that? *crosses fingers*. I may not be able to write as often as I would nowadays, but I've got plenty of ideas. Hopefully I'll have the energy to keep up.
I was thinking of a Mokou one-shot at some point, but I'm not really up to emo-stuff right now… oops… let slip the direction… Any suggestions? See you around…